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Tommy Tiernan Dropped From Laughs Canadian Tour
Tommy Tiernan has been dropped from the 'Just for Laughs' Canadian Comedy Tour, which kicks off on October 19.
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 08 Oct 2009
The decision was taken in the wake of the controversy stirred up when comments made by Tiernan during a public interview in the Hot Press Chat Room at the Electric Picnic in September were denounced by the Fine Gael TD, Alan Shatter.
Tiernan has been vilified in the media – many people feel completely unjustly – following what was a humorous, deliberately over the top satirical rant, which referred to the holocaust, during a question and answer session at the festival, conducted by interviewer Olaf Tyaransen. The remarks were quoted in newspaper coverage as if they represented Tiernan's views and were reported and interpreted as anti-Semitic. The comedian subsequently explained the obvious – that his words were taken out of context and that he was parodying extremism, but clearly to no avail where the organisers of 'Just For Laughs' are concerned.
"Anyone who has a brain knows that Tommy is not anti-Semitic," one leading comedian told Hot Press. "This is an example of the way in which the sheer laziness in the media feeds on itself. One newspaper copies a story from another one, and an initial rank injustice is perpetuated and magnified a thousand fold. It is absolutely appalling."
"It is shocking," another business insider told Hot Press. "Tommy han't an anti-Semitic bone in his body. Nor was what he said anti-Semitic. It is perfectly obvious that he wasn't expressing his own views and that he was satirising anti-Jewish prejudice. But the way it was reported is a disgrace – but then you have people jumping in, like the Archbishop of Dublin, who have an agenda. It'd make you sick."
Just for Laughs spokesperson Leisa Lee said that "both the festival and Tiernan agreed that it was in everyone's best interest that he drop out of the coming national tour."
"He deeply regrets any hurt he has caused," Lee added, according to reports in the Canadian press.
Tommy Tiernan is Ireland's most popular comedian and widely regarded as one of the finest comic talents this country has ever produced.